Thursday, August 04, 2011

Arrived Alive in Salt Lake City!

Okay, I'm finally back from my epic journey across America and beyond. I didn't have internet or interest in blogging but I had so many blog worthy moments that I kind of regret it.

In short, we crossed the border on June 30th where I managed to get my TN work visa. Yay! That means I'm legal to work now at my new job here in Salt Lake City. Yay!?

We then drove West to Chicago, then down across route 66 until we headed north into Utah and up to Salt Lake City. The whole road trip took us about 10 days with tourist stops in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona, and Bryce Canyon in Southern Utah.

We arrived in Salt Lake at our rented apartment with no furniture as our truck was delayed, so we spent our very limited time having a drink at Steve's colleague's house, dealing with our REI wedding registry, and buying new bathing suits for our honeymoon.

We went on our honeymoon and spent two super fun weeks checking out three different islands. We got back to Salt Lake on Friday the 29th and since then have been busy unpacking, setting up our new lives, and exploring our new city.

This is a very brief overview of the news, but I figured I'll make new posts with actual content and some of the stories of the move.

For example, yesterday we went to the driver's license office to get Utah drivers' licenses. Why bother? We need them in order to get car insurance, not to mention that having state ID seems to be key to doing or registering for things around these parts. We had left our little piece of paper with the address at home but could remember it was at 1000 West 200 North. We drove there and looked around for an office. Mostly there were dilapidated old buildings, but there was also a big fair ground. It took asking a lady waiting at a bus stop to learn that the drivers' license office is located inside the fair grounds. Obviously?!

We spent over two hours in that office waiting, waiting, waiting, and then SURPRISE, writing an (open book) driving test. Great. I was pretty nervous and it was difficult to find some of the answers in the book. It's been quite a while since I've had to take any sort of driving test. Luckily we both passed. Then we had to register for our road test. ROAD TEST!!!! I hope I don't fail.

It's been nearly impossible getting internet and cell phones because our Canadian credit is insufficient for the credit checks that all these companies do. We had to get my American aunt to order our cell phones on our behalf, which was another headache. We can't get credit cards either, but then how are we supposed to build up credit?

I guess we'll chalk it all up to the exciting adventure of moving to a new country right? I'm just glad we can speak the language, we have enough money to do the things we need to do, and we've got enough American family and friends that I'm sure everything will work out just fine. In the meantime, cell phones come today!

Aside from the headaches, we've also been experiencing our new city's arts, culture and food. We've eaten at a few good restaurants, many of which are right around the corner from our downtown apartment. We checked out the Pioneer Park Saturday farmer's market and bought fresh tomatoes, goat cheese and beats for a super fresh and delicious salad which we ate on the rooftop of our 28 story building. We went for a walk at the City Creek Canyon and laughed aloud at the reality of the beauty in such close proximity. This is something we do whenever we catch sight of the Wasatch mountains looming over Walmart or Best Buy. It's a pretty hilarious juxtaposition that makes this kind of shopping experience feel somehow bearable. We took in K.D. Lang from the hilltop beside the outdoor stage. And tonight we're heading back to Pioneer Park for another free outdoor concert.

So, at the moment I can't really complain. Though there have been some tricky issues to deal with, they're kind of funny once they're behind us - can't wait till my road test is behind me - and the fun stuff has made it worth it.

Be back soon!